Asee peer logo

Project-Directed Writing Assistance in Construction Management Program

Download Paper |


2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Rethinking PowerPoint and Other Acts of Communication

Tagged Division

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1193.1 - 22.1193.16



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Elena Poltavtchenko Northern Arizona University

visit author page

Elena Poltavtchenko is a Ph.D. candidate in the Applied Linguistics program at Northern Arizona University. She is a graduate teaching assistant at NAU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Elena obtained her B.A. in Russian Linguistics and Literature in Novosibirsk State University, Russia, and M.A. in English Applied Linguistics at the University of Houston, TX. Her current research interests lie in the area of writing in the disciplines, with a specific focus on writing in engineering.

visit author page


John Tingerthal Northern Arizona University

visit author page

John joined the Construction Management faculty at Northern Arizona University in 2007. His engineering career spans a wide variety of design and forensic engineering experiences. He spent the first eight years of his career performing structural consulting engineering in Chicago. This work culminated with design work on the Minneapolis Public Library and the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison Wisconsin. He was also involved with forensic investigations in Iowa and Wisconsin and participated in structural coordination efforts at Ground Zero in September of 2001. He holds professional engineering licenses in the States of Arizona an Illinois.

He is currently working on a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Higher Education. His academic interests lie in the field of student-centered learning and teaching. He is a primary instructor in a transdisciplinary course that incorporates engineering, construction, cultural anthropology and emergency medicine in an immersive experiential setting that is aimed to prepare students for international development projects.

John is a member of Engineers without Borders, ASCE, AISC and The Building Smart Alliance and advises the construction management student organization (CMO). He coordinates NAU's teams for the Associated Schools of Construction Regional competition in Reno, NV, and coaches the BIM team.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Project-Directed Writing Assistance in Construction Management ProgramEmployers and teachers have long been concerned about students majoring in various disciplineswhose poor written English prevents them from reaching their full potential in university and intheir professional lives. In engineering and construction management programs in particular, theworkplace success of new graduates is ultimately affected by their oral and written communication skills. However, these students’ academic preparation for industry’s needs in terms of writtencommunication has been widely acknowledged as inadequate. For instance, the consistently lowresults on the communication skills section of the required American Institute of Constructorsexam taken by the students majoring in Construction Management show the urgent need fordiscipline-specific writing instruction. It is, therefore, imperative that such students be offeredhelp with discipline-specific written discourse. Yet the number of writing intensive classes forsuch students and the number of professionals who specialize in developing writing programsand services for these students are rather small.This empirical study fills this gap by investigating how project-directed supplemental writingassistance affects writing quality in a junior-level construction management class. By using bothquantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis, the researchers examined thestudents’ progress in writing two drafts of a proposal and assessed students’ performance on thefollowing commonly problematic areas: Formatting, clarity of data/results presentation, andappropriateness of writing for intended audience. The results of the study suggest thatsupplemental writing assistance has a significant overall positive effect on student writing, and isespecially beneficial in heightening their audience awareness. The results of this study indicatethat more writing opportunities and project-directed instruction in on disciplinary writing shouldbe provided to students to help them become successful in their future careers. 

Poltavtchenko, E., & Tingerthal, J. (2011, June), Project-Directed Writing Assistance in Construction Management Program Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18802

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2011 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015